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  • The devastating human cost of jade mining

    July 10, 2017

    The work of Burmese photojournalist Minzayar Oo is helping bring to light stories of the harsh impact of jade mining on the poor who work in the industry, according t

  • Celebrating the rains in Nepal

    June 05, 2017

    As farmers across Nepal eagerly await the arrival of the rains to prepare their fields for the plantation season, members of the ethnic Kirat community pray to Mother Nature for healthy crops and protection from natural calamities by celebrating "Sakela Ubhauli." The Kirat community came together in their traditional attires to celebrate Sakela Ubhauli, a biannual festival celebrated to mark the onset of summer when rains are due. According to the Kirat holy book, a year is divided into two phases: Ubhauli in Nepali word means going up and Udhauli meaning going down. It is believed that the festival is named after the migration pattern of the birds. Sakela Ubhauli is celebrated in summer when birds migrate from the lowland to escape from the heat and, while in winter the birds migrate downhill. Various groups representing all ages of the Kirat community were seen dancing to the beat of traditional drums and cymbals, wearing their vibrant colored attire and traditional jewelries. Nepal's first recorded history began with the Kirat who ruled the country from 800 BC to 300 CE. However, the Kirat currently make up only 3 percent of Nepal's 26 million people.  (Photos by Ananta Bhandari)